Before your student leaves

Talk to him or her about the logistics of the course and if they have the itinerary to share with you. Find out their flight number if you would like to track their arrival on Flight Tracker.

Contacting your student abroad

Since technology varies between countries, communicating with students can be frustrating at times. Here are a few tips:

  • Email - For general correspondence, it is usually the fastest, easiest, cheapest and most convenient.
  • Phone calls -
  • Skype - Download here. Using a computer with a microphone and webcam, you can talk free to anyone else who is on Skype.
  • Emergencies - Make sure to get an in-country emergency number for your student before he/she leaves. The Off-Campus Programs office has emergency contact numbers for its program directors. It may also have your student's number, depending on what information we received from him/her.
  • Time difference - Remember that this can delay when messages are received and responded to. We recommend using a website such as (accessible site) and setting a Personal World Clock to the country your student is in to always know what the local time is there. 

Visiting your student on a Semester Program

While we understand the desire of family and friends to visit students who are away from home and campus for a significant length of time, such visits can be disruptive and therefore harmful to group cohesiveness if not done with sensitivity to other students and the program director. The following policies and procedures are based on our experience with such situations:

  • Any visitor to a Calvin off-campus program must notify the program director at least 3 weeks in advance.
  • Family and friends should plan their visit to coincide with vacation and/or other periods of free time for students. If this is not possible, family and friends are urged not to visit at times when group excursions are planned.
  • Students whose family or friends are visiting while classes are in session are not excused from classes or program excursions in order to be with visiting family or friends.
  • Visitors may not stay in the student’s room. Visitors should stay in a hotel or youth hostel.